Restoration report


The Conservation and Maintenance of the Santa Rosa Necropolis, Feb. 2024

The project included restoration, routine maintenance, and prompt interventions carried out mainly by the Painting Restoration Laboratory. The unsafe environmental situation, detected in February 2023, was solved and the area was cleaned; this allowed restorers to restart activities, although with delays to the planned schedule.
In the second half of 2023, restorer Rossana Giardina performed maintenance and minor interventions on the monuments. In parallel, Dr. Stefania Bani, a biologist at the Scientific Research Laboratory, monitored the environmental situation.
In addition to periodic conservation activities, the project included the restoration of Sepulchre II, which began in the fall and was not completed in December 2023 due to organizational problems in setting up the site and using the laser needed for the restoration. The restoration of the adjacent sepulchers XVII and XVIII of the Santa Rosa sector is postponed to a later intervention.

In the first phase, the restorer prepared a report noting all critical conservation issues, quantifying time and costs, and specifying the necessary work phases. The restoration intervention in the sepulcher II, Santa Rosa Section, involves four macro phases:

Cleaning Process

  • Removal of earthy deposits from all surfaces.
  • Removal/extraction of salts, from painted surfaces and curtains.
  • Thickness reduction of the most tenacious encrustations by mechanical means, scalpel, and microdrill.
  • Chemical cleaning to soften irrelevant layers
  • Cleaning with laser technology, protecting the painted surface with Nevek gel


  • In-depth consolidation of plaster detachments and pozzolanic preparatory layer using TB1
  • Surface consolidation for superficial detachments, with nano lime


  • Conservative under-level grouting with suitable mortar composed of color-differentiated marble powders and lime putty
  • Level grouting made to reconstruct the modeling of the stuccoes (e.g., in the shell on the bottom side)

Chromatic Reintegration
Chromatic reintegration is carried out only where strictly necessary to enhance the decorative legibility. The restorer has adopted an “archaeological” criterion.

The intervention is in progress, and the restorer is proceeding as follows:

  • Removing the soil deposits and soluble salts
  • Cleaning with the Eos Combo laser
  • Performing consolidations on the three walls in the lower register and inside the niches where the ollae are located.

In the upper register of the left wall during the first cleaning phase, traces of color were found that could be evidence of plant motif decoration. Currently, given the lack of legibility, this hypothesis cannot be confirmed until scientific analysis is performed, which hopefully will reveal the expected result. The
restorer made sub-level fillings to prevent further loss of original material in the white plaster gaps. The stuccoes, while recognizable, are very similar in composition and color to the original.

Below are some images of the restoration:

Posted on February 26, 2024